Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) is the third Khalifah. He assumed the reigns of the khilaafate on a Saturday in Muharram 24 Hijri. He was appointed by the decision of the Ahl-e-Shْra (the senior Sahaabah who constituted the Shْra committee).
According to Hafiz who wrote in Isabah, Hadhrat Uthman was born 6 years after the Episode of the Elephants. He accepted Islam as a result of Hadhrat Abu Bakr’s efforts. When he accepted Islam, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) gave his daughter, Ruqayyah in marriage to him.
His blessed name is Uthman and his title is Thun-Nurain (the one with two lights). He was thus titled because Rasulullah’s two daughter’s, Ruqayyah and Umm-e-Kulthoom came into his Nikah one after the other. There is no man besides Hadhrat Uthman who had the good fortune of marrying two daughters of a Nabi. After the demise of Hadhrat Ruqayyah, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said that he had been commanded by Allah to perform Umm-e-Kulthoom’s nikah to Hadhrat Uthman. When Hadhrat Umm-e-Kulthoom too died in the year 9 Hijri, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) observed that if he had another daughter, he would have given her in marriage to Hadhrat Uthman.
His genealogy is as follows:
Uthman the son of Affan, the son of Abil ‘Aas, the son of Umayyah, the son of Abdush Shams. His ancestry links up with Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) in Abdu Manaf who had two sons. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was of the progeny of the one son while Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) was of the progeny of the other son.
Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) was an embodiment and a treasurehouse of modesty and shame. Even when taking a bath in an enclosed bathroom, his modesty did not permit him to be in the nude. In the presence of Hadhrat Abu Bakr and Hadhrat Umar, Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) would appear with his dress in any state. But, he would take care of correctly arranging his attire when Hadhrat Uthman came into his presence.
Tilaawat and Ibaadat in abundance were his special characteristics. He perpetually fasted. Even on the day he was martyred he was fasting. He would sleep a short while in the early part of the night and spend the rest of the night making tilaawat of the Qur’aan Shareef. He would complete the recitation of the entire Qur’aan in a night.
Inspite of being extremely wealthy, his dress was generally of a very cheap and inferior kind. But, he was very generous in charity. It was his practice to emancipate a slave every Friday. When sometimes he failed to observe this Friday practice, he would compensate the omission by emancipating two slaves on the next Friday.
In view of the extreme difficulties which Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) and the Sahaabah experienced on the occasion of the Tabْk campaign, the name Jaishul Usrah (the Army of Hardship) is famous for this expedition. Exhorting the Sahaabah to contribute, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said:
“He who contributes for this army will receive Jannat.”
Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) presented ten thousand gold coins. Seated on the mimbar, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) transferring the coins from one hand to the other, said:
“After today, it does not matter if Uthman does not render any act of virtue.”
Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said of Hadhrat Uthman:
“Every Nabi had a close companion. My close companion in Jannat will be Uthman.”
“After Nabi Ibrahim (alayhis salaam) and Nabi Lْt (alayhis salaam), Uthman is the first person who had migrated with his entire family.”
Once Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) had contributed substantially for the army. His contribution was loaded on several camels. On this occasion Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) raising both hands towards the heavens, supplicated:
“O Allah! I am pleased with Uthman (He repeated this thrice). You too be pleased with him.”
The Sahaabah too repeated this dua.
The duration of Hadhrat Uthman’s khilaafat was 12 years minus 12 days. He was brutally martyred on 18th Thil Hajj, 35 Hijri. When he was martyred, he was reciting the Qur’aan Majeed. His blood fell on the aayat:
Allah will suffice for you against them. And He is The One Who Hears, The One Who knows.
Long ago Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) had predicted Hadhrat Uthman’s brutal assassination. According to the narration of Tirmizi, once while explaining to the Sahaabah about a great anarchy (fitnah), Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) pointed to Hadhrat Uthman and said: “He will be slain unjustly in that fitnah.”
In another Hadith also in Tirmizi, Hadhrat Huzaifah narrates that Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said:
“I take oath by That Being in Whose control is my life! Qiyaamah will only come when you have killed your Imaam and shed each other’s blood.”
1) Once Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) said to his slave:
“I had twisted your ear. I want you to extract compensation.”
The slave then twisted Hadhrat Uthman’s ear. Thereupon Hadhrat Uthman said:
“Twist it strongly. The compensation extracted here on earth is best. After such compensation, there is no apprehension in the Aakhirah.”
2) Once Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said:
“Who will purchase the Well of Zire for the benefit of the Muslims? In return Allah Ta’ala will quench his thirst on the Day of Qiyaamah.”
Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) then purchased the well for 35,000 dirhams and declared it as waqf for the benefit of all Muslims.
3) Hadhrat Hasan Basri (rahmatullah alayh) says that during the era of khilaafate he saw Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) sleeping in the Musjid. His body bore the marks of the pebbles on the ground on which he was sleeping. People said: “He is the Amirul Mu’mineen, but look at his condition.”
4) Abdullah Bin Shaddaad (rahmatullah alayh) says that he saw Hadhrat Uthman during the time of his khilaafate on the mimbar delivering the Jumuah Khutbah. The value of the garments on his body on this occasion was not more than 4 or 5 dirhams.
5) Once a man who had gazed at a woman in the street came into the gathering of Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) who said:
“Some people come to me with the effects of zina (fornication) in their eyes.”
“Does Wahi descend even after Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم)?”
Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) responded that this awareness is the effect of firaasat (the inner spiritual faculty of the purified spiritual heart capable of discerning such things – Translator).
6) He would say:
“Worship is to safeguard the commands of Allah, to fulfil the promise made with anyone, to be contented with whatever is obtained and to be patient when things are unobtainable.”
“Worldly concern produces spiritual darkness. Concern of the Aakhirah produces spiritual Lightness.”
“The sign of piety is that one considers all others to be saved and oneself to be doomed.”
“The greatest destruction is old-age accompanied by indifference for the Aakhirah.”
“The grave will be a comfort for the one for whom this world is a prison.”
“If your hearts are purified, you will never tire of reciting the Qur’aan and listening to its recitation.”
7) Imaam Maalik (rahmatullah alayh) narrates that one day Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) passed by a place called Hash Kaukab. While standing there, he said:
“Soon a pious man will be buried here.”
The first person who was buried there was Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu).
8) Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) would feed guests from the Baitul Maal. However, he would not join them in eating. Rather he would eat his simple food at home.
9) He would cry much when passing the Qabrustaan. His beard would be soaked with his tears. Once someone asked:
“You do not cry as much when Jannat and Jahannum are discussed.”
“I heard Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) say:
‘The grave is the first station of the stations of the Aakhirah.’
Therefore, whoever is successful in the grave will traverse all stations successfully. If he fails here, ahead is only hardship.”
Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said:
“I have not seen any more dreadful scene than the qabr.”
[Masha’ikh-e-Chisht, Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Zakariya (r.a.)]